Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Battelle launches Crowdfire

John Battelle's Federated Media has launched a new initiative, http://www.crowdfire.net/

Crowdfire seems to be inspired by Battelle's trip to the 2007 Bonaroo festival.

He writes in a blog post celebrating the launch:

"Everyone says the music business is in collapse, but that's not true at all. The old industry may be dying, but the connection between fans and bands is stronger than ever. Thanks to the web, more and more acts can find their audiences, more and more fans can find music they love, and together they are changing the world of entertainment forever. It's nearly impossible to make money as a musician using the old system of record labels and Top 50 hits. But if you tour, if you are smart about what festivals you play, and if you use the web to connect directly with your base, well, there's clearly a great living to be made, doing what you love to do. And new companies like Superfly and Red Light and Another Planet were springing up to help artists do exactly that. It felt a lot like what I was trying to do with FM, the only difference being the medium. One was live music, the other was the conversational web. "

"In essence, we wanted to create a place where folks could mix their love of music with all the potential of personal and cultural technology. And if we could find a company or companies that both lived in the space and were visionary enough to help underwrite it all, well that would tie it all together. (We did, thanks Microsoft!) "

"The idea is pretty simple, really: Live music has always been a major production from the stage out to the audience: one to many, in essence. But with CrowdFire, we hope to provide all of us music fans a platform for doing with the experience of music what we're already doing with the experience of the web: a place where all of us can share and produce our experiences: a many to many celebration of live music, in real time, as well as as an ongoing, living archive of what has happened, and what might happen next. "

I've had a quick play around - seems functional. Not much content on there but it's only been live about 12 hours.

What I can't work out is whether this is a media play for FM or a branded content play for Microsoft consumer marketing.

Another element is how they will deal with copyright issues. People uploading clips from concerts they perhaps don't have the legal right to.

A further question is whether a MSFT branded community can tap into the spirit of passionate music goers ... or whether they'll continue to upload cam phone videos from local concerts onto YouTube.

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